A First Look Inside

The Berg

The Berg officially became ours last Thursday, so we took our girls over to get their first look inside.

Upon walking in the east side door which leads into the kitchen, I asked Maggie (age 3 1/4) what she thought. Her first words were “this house smells bad” followed almost immediately by “hey, this is the kitchen!” She was not wrong. (Just like the White House, our first job will be to open the windows and remove the very old, very dirty, very smelly carpet.)

I’ve sketched out the layout of the house, to give you some basic bearings. (Obviously not to scale, but close enough for now.)

Berg Floorplan

While the rest of the family was exploring the empty house, I snapped several million ‘before’ pictures. Here are a few to give you a sense of the house (without subjecting you to the scents of the house.)

There is so much more floral wallpaper than I remembered! The upstairs isn’t any better.

The basement is a bit of an eye-sore: crumbling walls, knob-and-tube wiring, old pipes. Kurt (and a handful of professionals) will have a lot of work to do down there before we’re through with this transformation.

Outside, the yard is large and full of nice plantings. And the garage has a ton of character, with different bricks from a century of repairs and renovations.

But let’s end this quick tour with a little natural beauty… Mr. and Mrs. Berg were avid gardeners and even though they have passed, their flower gardens are still lovely.

I can’t wait to get into there and take out that nasty carpet. The transformation begins this week!

Stay tuned.

Introducing “The Berg” in Rochester, MN

The Berg

Kurt and I are so excited! Today we bought our second project house!

It was previously owned (for the last 65 years) by an elderly couple named Mr. and Mrs. Berg, so we decided to call it “The Berg.” I also like the name because we just bought a 140 year-old house “AS-IS.” I’m sure that the problems we *know* about are just ‘the tip of the ice-BERG.’

Here are the stats… 2 bedroom, two 3/4 baths, 1,869 square feet. Built in 1880. Corner lot with large yard and an ancient carriage-house garage.

It was described on realtor.com as “Fixer upper in great location! Charming old home that needs a loving touch.” Oh boy, here we go!

We got the keys this morning, so I haven’t had a chance to take pictures yet. But here’s what I borrowed from the listing (realtor.com).

View The Berg’s transformation (in chronological order) by visiting the Archives page.

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Dining Room

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Living Room

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Sitting Room

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Kitchen

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Stay tuned.

Introducing “The White House” in Claremont, MN

The White House

In mid-May, my husband Kurt and I purchased a charming old home in the tiny hamlet of Claremont, Minnesota. It was built in 1910. Kurt knew this house had ‘good bones’ and just needed a little TLC.

The first thing we do when we start a new project is to name it. We considered calling it “the Tall House” or “the Owl House” but we decided to call it “The White House.” Our family has been politically divided since last November, so I was hoping this house could once again connect a positive feeling to the term.

Here are the stats… 3 bedroom, 3/4 bath upstairs, half bath downstairs, 1750 square feet. Located on a double lot with several mature trees. It also has a modern garage which includes a nice (unfinished) loft and a small garden shed.

The next several posts will be trying to bring you up to date on the improvements we made during our first five weeks. But once I’ve caught up, I’ll post updates when we’ve finished a portion of the project.

And here’s what it looked like when we started. (Photos borrowed from realtor.com.) It was a foreclosure and the previous owner left a lot of stuff behind (except kitchen appliances). Thankfully it was mostly cleared out before we got the keys.

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Garden Shed

Interior1

Dining Room

Interior2

Kitchen

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Living Room

Stay tuned.